Summer Reads – The Collected List

Between my earlier summer reading post, your recommendations, as well as Facebook and twitter, I’ve got the start of my booklist for the next few months. Why start? Because as soon as I post this, I’m sure someone will suggest a book that sounds like a must read. *Links go to authors’ websites or, if not available, Powell’s Books (a.k.a., the greatest place on earth).

Summer reading. Image courtesy of stock.xchng®

My List – So Far

  • The Great Here and Now by Joe Meno. My favorite Joe Meno book is Hairstyles of the Damned. Meno created complex, conflicted characters that don’t let you go, even if you despise them. The Great Here and Now is his newest work and features a family in Chicago, with the narration rotating among the five members of the Casper family.
  • Speed Shrinking by Susan Shapiro. You’ve probably noticed other Susan Shapiro books here. Her voice is fun and I know I’ll get a kick out of this writing instructor’s first published novel. Available August 3.
  • Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name: A Novel by Vendela Vida. It’s not new. However, I loved the movie “Away We Go” so much that I wanted to read something by the female half of the Dave Eggers-Vendela Vida screenwriting duo.

After reading interviews in Poets & Writers with these debut novelists, I decided to read their books. Between their personal stories and book synopses, I was hooked.

  • Some Things That Meant the World to Me by Joshua Mohr. Premise: Diagnosed as a teenager with depersonalization, a thirty-year-old man named Rhonda is forced to confront his bizarre and traumatic past when he encounters the personification of his inner child.
  • A Disobedient Girl by Ru Freeman. Premise: Set in Sri Lanka, the story of a servant girl who yearns for the life she has been denied intersects with the tale of a mother on the run from her abusive husband.
  • Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff. Premise: A group of Oberlin graduates struggle to retain their Bohemian ideals in the consumer-driven 1990s. [This one reminds me of, well, me and all my fellow Colorado College graduates!]

Books Some of You Are Reading

Please keep sharing your favorites, whether you read them years ago or are waiting for a favorite author’s new book to arrive this summer. My list is just going to keep growing! What about yours?

p.s. I typically post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Since this week ends with a three-day weekend for most people and I just got the “go” on a big new campaign project, I’m only posting twice this week. Looking for something new to read on Friday? Check out my Links page or The Write Network.

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2 thoughts on “Summer Reads – The Collected List

  1. Hey Brian ~ You’ll have to keep me posted on how “Paradise Lost” goes! As for something lighter, hmm… Someone pointed out that my last reading list included a high school shooting, an unsolved murder and cancer. Have you read Josh Kilmer-Purcell’s memoir “I’m Not Myself These Days?” It’s fantastic! His debut novel “Candy Everybody Wants” is hysterical – and it can be summed up in one word: “Dallasty!”

  2. Hi Jesaka

    Looks like a pretty good list of books to read this summer.

    I am attempting to tackle “Paradise Lost” by Milton. Not sure what will follow; perhaps something a little lighter, any suggestions?


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